Category Archives: Misc.

things that might not fit in a category.

wait 9 month or a year and see what happens …

i admit it, sometimes i don’t want to process film.  i get tired of standing there and agitating, or shuffling sheets in a tray in the dark.  i started doing stand development because i didn’t want to deal, my version of stand development only lasts for maybe 1/2 hour if i remember to come back in time, sometimesit lasts even more.  i use the same develop my every day film in, sumatra coffee, washing soda,vitamin c and some dektol.  i shake the bubbles off and leave.  sometimes i put of processing film for a few weeks or sometimes i am not very good and put it off for a few months, 9 or 10 months this time.

 

the film sat in a ziplock bag for all this time.  i would process sheets, i would develop paper negatives, i would make contact prints,  even make emulsions and developers from scratch, coat things, and develop them, but i wouldn’t process the rolls of film.  i’d think about it sometimes

painted cyanotype with watercolors

film reels cyanotype with watercolors

finally i processed the film, at least, some of it. i had about 15 or 20 rolls to get through, and i made it through 9 of them.  i loaded the film into the metal reels.  it took a while since i was out of practice.  some reels roll easier than others, and for the first time in a long while i had a few areas touch and not develop.  that’s ok.  after the film was hung and dried and sleeved i began scanning them.  i will eventually print them but i figured scanning is as good a way as any to see what i have, so i scanned, and scanned and scanned. i remember most of the photographs, sort of. but not really.  it was a nice feeling to have distance.  there wasn’t any sort of importance or need or “i have to see this or that”  they were just negatives.

i remember seeing a show on garry winogrand years ago and how he exposed the film and left it for a year or more before he processed it.  ( i think there were 10 thousand rolls of film to process after he died. )  and i can see why he did what he did.  the distance adds to the editing process.  there isn’t a ” this exposure is going to be SO GOOD !” and process the film 20 seconds after it was unloaded. the film is just there and ready when you are, if it is good, its good, if it is bad, you probably don’t remember even making the photograph, so it is OK.

these photographs are from a handful of long walks i took.  sometimes they were made walking home from my mechanic;s place abotu 5 miles away.  i took 3 differnt routes home.  some were taken on the way or way back from picking up beer making supplies.  it was a road i used to travel often with a camera but no so much anymore.  time sat still and the places were virtually the same.

anyways … it’s ok to leave film for a while before you process it,

it mght even be a good thing.

 

colored black and whtite photo

colored black and whtite photo

shadow and textured wall

shadow and textured wall

retina print

retina print

run down fieldstone buildingjakes antiques

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paper negative fun with an empire state 1A

I’ve been on the lookout for a back for a camera i bartered for years ago.  the camera is a century 8 grande portrait outfit

 

century 8 portrait camera

 

(photograph courtesy of historic camera.com  a great website if you like looking at “old stuff” or want to see what you have )

http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium/pm.cgi?action=display&login=century_8

anyways when i received the camera it came on an ornate semi centenial stand ( without the film holder rack ) and the camera came with an 8×10 back.  i eventually made a 11×14 back for the camera out of foam core and waxed paper, and a paper negative holder as well.  it worked like a dream.  i just had to load each sheet separately, no big deal unless i wanted to take more then one photograph.

eventually i purchased a 7×11 film back and holders which i mounted on what was the mount for the 8×10 back.  and that worked beautifully too, but like the 8×10 is about 1/2 the 11×14 negative, the 7×11 REALLY is half the size.  11×14 is such a giant negative i have wanted to get back to shooting that format for a long long time.

recently i found an inexpensive back and a couple of film holders.  if you have ever priced anything large format, you know inexpensive is a relative term.  about a year ago i found a back, broken and in pieces that someone wanted to sell to me for a more money than i had to spend.  i don’t have very much money so i passed and figured eventually i would find something a little more for someone with a shoestring budget.  well, it happened a few weeks ago.  i got a back and holders, and it came with a camera and a 8x1o back as well.  couldn’t have been happier seeing it cost less than the amount for something broken !

the camera arrived in the belly of a greyhound bus.  just don’t ship greyhound on holiday weeks where there is a lot of bus travel, people and their luggage get first priority.  i brought the giant box home and unpacked it.  about a day later i had the camera cleaned up.  after 10 years in a box in someone’s basement it got kind of dusty, and dirty.  i reglued parts of the film holders back together too.  it didn’t have a ground glass ( focusing screen ) so i went to the local home goods store and had a piece of plexi glass cut down to 11×14, and i sanded it and sanded it, and sanded it until it was scuffed up enough to work as a cheap piece of ground glass.  i figure if i sometimes use waxed paper scuffed plexiglass would work fine.  it cost me less than 12$ and about 5 mins of time and saved me probably 4-5 times that.  i clipped the corners and inserted the ground plexiglass.

first i made a retina image.  i  wanted to see if the film holders leaked or the bellows were a mess.

the image came out really nice, so i desaturated it, and added my own color since i like doing that sort of thing

 

2 hour exposure, expired photo paper

2 hour exposure, expired photo paper

the other day i decided to load up the other 11×14 film holder up with paper, and a a 8×10 too.

i made a few kitchen window photographs

 

 

onion and limes and dirty window

onion and limes and dirty window

15-20 seconds

scrubby and window light

 

with an assistant later in the day we made some portaits.

legs

legs

 

counting to 20

counting to 20

 

looking forward to taking the empire on the road, and using the back in-studio

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coffee cups

originally …

i made 4 exposures, 1 with NO filtration and 3 others ( RGB ) and i was going to make a trichrome image of these coffee cups that look like stacked bowls but i ran into a little trouble.  while i love making exposures and i love processing film, i had no way of identifying the negatives after the film was processed.  i suppose if i was some sort of superhero i could look and know what was what, but there is too much stain in the film for me to be able to see which is which.  this can sometimes be a problem when processing 36 sheets of film at a time, and they get a little jumbled up  😉

so, instead of spending hours trying to ID the film, or making many many attempted trichromes with photoshop like some sort of mind bending puzzle i decided to take one of the images and hand color it, 4 different ways.  i used christmas colors and had some fun.

so, here are a few hand colored photographs.

4 up

hand colroed black and white

feel free to poke around on imagekind if you see something that you like they are less expensive than me making the prints by hand 😉

 

 

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film processed in dektol and coffee

my last entry i mentioned i had finished exposing about 36 sheets of film.  it was more than that ..  4 bag-mags filled with a variety of tmx ( 100 ) tmy (400 ) and some mystery film that was bad enough that it never exposed.  maybe 10 sheets were as clear as unexposed film when it came out of the developer.  they were some of the first sheets i processed to test the developers.  i increased the times and added a little more dektol to my mix.  originally it was about 1:8 but i added so it was more like 1:6.

i hadn’t ever processed film in dektol before, only heard about it, and i have to say i was happy with the results.  i have to fine tune my dilutions and times but for the most part everything looked good.

i exposed in a variety of different lighting conditions, room light, weak window light, bright light and i exposed my film well.  sometimes developers need a little encouragement.  i go against convention.

here are 2 from my  39 sheets.

1:6 / 7+ 7mins.

dektol and sumatranol test

1:6, 7+7 mins

dektol test

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writing about photography

in a recent interview with on the onwardphoto blog, jorg colberg spoke about the importance of writing about photography.

http://tinyurl.com/qalulvr   i couldn’t agree more with what he said.  often times people who make photographs have trouble talking about them.

i am guilty too … it is HARD to write about photography, but with a little practice it gets a little easier.

i have a series of portraits i have been making since i was 19 ( more than half my life ).  the project began years before and i didn’t even know it … when i was reading studds turkel’s book “working”, a book about people talking about what they do for work …  i began my project by cold calling businesses and asking if i could photograph people who worked there.  i was a fly on the wall, sometimes, other times i would have conversations with the subject to learn about what it was they were doing, and i would photograph where they worked too.  i documented  people that worked in slaugherhouses, were gravediggers, machineshop operators, mechanics, factory workers, butchers …  people from all walks of life.  i enjoyed talking with these strangers and learning about who they were, and creating almost a story that surrounded each portrait i took.  eventually i began photographing people on the streets as i wandered their neighborhood with a camera,  or where they had a late night snack, or breakfast.  i continued with these portraits, even letting them lead me into paying jobs photographing people for magazines and newspapers, and i never stopped interviewing my subjects to learn a little bit about them.

when i worked for a eileen mcclure, she told me tricks she would do to get her subjects to loosen up a little bit.  she only had seconds to do this seeing she had appointments every 20 minutes all day long …  and she said she had it easy because she was a little old lady, and people don’t feel threatened by little old ladies.  my trick ended up being just having a conversation, and because i was no longer a guy with a camera but someone else.  over the years i think the project has taken a different shape, and really tells more about me than it does my subjects.  if i wrote about the project,  i would write about who my subjects were, and how meeting them changed how i look at portrait photography in general, but how i have learned that people are pretty much the same, whether they are rich, poor, a corporate titan, leader of a state, or someone sitting on their porch, who didn’t remember who i was or who she was a few weeks later when i returned with a print.

i couldn’t agree more with the idea that one should be able to write something, anything, about what it is they do or did with their camera.

 

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recent work

i haven’t posted here in a few months for a variety of reasons.  but i am here again with a handful of photographs … as seen in a few other of my blog posts, i have been having fun making trichromes.

they are FULL color photographs made using separation filters ( RBG ) and panchromatic black and white film.  about 30 years ago my uncle ( a professional photographer in western massachusetts ) told me about making trichromes  but i didn’t have access to a color darkroom, so i never made any.  NOW, since i am able to compile the images using photoshop i am making them often.  i even have a polaroid 500 portrait camera and i have started to make portraits and stereo tri chromes.

here are a few images ..  they don’t have any hidden meaning, they are just fun. oh, in case you wanted to know the vital statistics …  they were all taken with expired black and white film which was hand processed in a combination of coffee based developer ( sumatranol ) and ansco 130.

 

if you cross your eyes the image is 3D

 

if you cross your eyes the 3D image appears

 

 

 

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not far

you don’t need to travel far to find interesting photographs

 

 

 

weeds by the cove

 

 

click on image

cross your eyes the middle image will be 3-D

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another batch of tri chromes

making trichrome color images is a bit addictive

it is so easy and fun with a digital camera, it almost makes you feel guilty how much effort
is spent when film or plates are used.  and it makes you feel even more guilty and in awe of
people who spent a long long time mastering this process with color paper, or making dye transfer or gum prints.

i have film i exposed ( haven’t processed it yet, shame on me ! ) which will be almost as easy as using a digital camera
instead of files that are immediate, i’ll have film that i expose with the colored filters.
that’s about as difficult as i will let this game get, i won’t be making contact prints onto color paper,
or matrix sheets &c, i’ll just scan the negatives, get files to merge in photoshop which will take barely longer than it takes to scan the
files with a scanner.

the last few uploads were made in bright sunlight, or kitchen light ( bulb )
i took some portraits but since my subject wasn’t nailed+taped to the chair and the expression glued on their face
and it takes 3 separate exposures, well, my results were a bit sub-par …  i have some ideas how to fix that …

these uploads are soft afternoon overcast light. iron chair, wooden stiles hanging plant+box

 

 

 

 

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tri color again, this time coffee

can’t not take photographs of my favorite drink

 

coffee

espresso

 

espresso

 

 

all gone

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a few more tri color images, kind of addictive

went to the lighting supply guy today

east coast lighting, nice folks !

 

i got some gels to match the swatchbook numbers i had
and took a few more b/w images with my digital camera

i tried a few color ones as well, converted to greyscale but they didn’t work …

 

just a little fun before i start using film

cup of pencils

 

with coffee

 

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Tri Color

decided to make my first tri color image today

this was made using a digital camera

but i plan on using up my film making color images from black and white

its a lot of fun

there are handfuls of tutorials on the web that show this

the main trick is the images have to be exactly the same size and align perfectly  or it will look
a bad  …

 

you take each image with a red green and blue filter
and drop them into a color file’s channel’s
and after each negative is dropped on ontop of the other

you have something that looks like this

( or better, this was taken with filters that didn’t cover the lens, of a terribly backlit subject )

plants on shelf

 

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the plates were still wet

the plates were sill wet, so i made some sumatranol 130 into a reversal developer / monobath
and made some photograms.  they are still hanging too ( all rc paper ) and ill scan some tomorrow …

the recipe i got from the cyclopeida was just an extremely weak developer.

it wasn’t anything fancy, just a weak, washing soda ( sodium carbonate ) rick developer and without much of a developing agent
not sure how it was supposed to develop anything seeing it wouldn’t really turn a sheet of paper black in room light,

more to follow as the adventure continues ..

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using a cyclone

from time to time i get asked what kind of camera i have or use or like or like to use or …

my current favorite is a cyclone #3.  it is what is called a magazine camera, or a falling plate camera.
if you google “cyclone camera” you will probably find an advertisement for it over on flickr.  i don’ t know the guy
so i’d rather not hot link to his site.  it was a box camera that had 2 speeds, as they all seemed to have, I ( instantaneous) and T ( time )
the I speed was maybe 1/50th S  F maybe 13?   i don’t know they were pretty simple and are still a lot of fun!
basically the way they work is there are sleeves that sheets of glass with emulsion used to go in, they are called septums.
my #3 has 8 septums, i think it is missing 4 of them but they don’t appear without a camera, and i really don’t need ANOTHER camera.
you can put a piece of black cardboard in the septum and then either film or paper if you coat your own glass plates like me, you can load them without the cardboard
and WITH glass plates.  the slide in vertically one after another, then the blank and then the back which has a big bedspring to apply pressure to the septums.
you make your exposures and jiggle the knob and each exposed septum FALLS to the floor.  thats where the name comes from.
i used to buy smaller formats  of this style of camera.  they came in all sorts of different sizes, landscape shapes portrait shapes, ( long and skinny ) and
sometimes had elaborate shutter controls and apertures.  the #3 is pretty simple … i aperture and 1 shutter speed and T …i also have a #5 that i recently started to use
it has 3 apertures, and the exposed plates can be retrieved from the bottom of the camera  …  it is smaller too, sort of dainty if you can call a wooden box camera dainty.

anyways i started using the #3 a year or 2 ago and really enjoy how it works.  the lens has a sweet spot, i think, at around infinity ( joke )
its big and clunky and seems to work fine, except once in a while the septums get jammed and i have to wack the camera …  and people sometimes stare.
funny thing is, no one asks me anything when im using the camera.

i tend to coat paper myself using bottled emulsion.  i use liquid light a lot, and coat paper 2 coats.  the last batch i did was in the spring, and i just started to use it.
they turned out OK, sort of.  i also am using 10year old polymax fb paper.  its probably way older than 10 years old seeing it was all given to me about 13 years ago by a friend in portsmouth nh.  it was thelast single weight paper made by kodak, and it seems to hold up well.  even if it didn’t i would use it seeing it is kind of foggy, and less contrast is always good when shooting paper negatives.

 

burning bush behind

 

i also went into providence …

tower

i went again today, but the paper is still drying on the line ..

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pine branches and needles

today i was cleaning up the darkroom a little bit

actually, i was looking for an unprocessed paper negative ( eventually found it )
and while i was putting things away, i came across a pine branch.  got it in the spring
never got a chance to use it until toda …

lumen print with hand coated paepr

this is a series of crops from the scanned original

 

pine branch lumen print, 7hours

 

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its been a loooong summer

i haven’t posted here since the spring  …  and since the summer is over

and the cooler weather is here it will make it easier for me to do some more work and post it here.

i was in france over the summer and made some retina prints while i was there.  not many, 2 of them.
i also exposed a handful of film and a few memory cards of digital  – stuff. while i used the digital camera
i had plans to create paper negatives and either silver prints or cyanotypes with some of the images i made.

my fall will be busy, things to do besides photography, but i will try to make something every day  ( meals don’t count 🙂  )

 

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